Google My Business (GMB) was launched way back in June 2014 and touted as any local business’s best friend on the internet. More than 56% of all Local Retailers are still missing out on the best digital business card available.
Here are 9 benefits you’ll derive from claiming, updating, and optimizing your listing.
#1: Get free real estate on page 1
On desktop, your listing takes up the entire right-hand panel and on mobile, you’re at the top. Most searchers never get past page 1 and according to Google taking up as much free real estate as you can on the first results page is an opportunity for your business to get noticed quickly. You just need to make sure your information is accurate.
#2: Get more Customers
Customers can Book an Appointment, Request a Quote, Check Room Availability, Order, or even Purchase your products directly from your listing. This is even before a potential customer has clicked through to your website. If you service specific areas, you can mention that upfront to avoid unnecessary requests.
#3: Manage your Online Reputation
You can earn trust from potential customers by gaining customer ratings and also responding to existing reviews. If 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses you need to make sure that you consistently monitor your online reputation. Use your personalized listing review link to gain new reviews.
#4: Engage with Customers
Customers can learn a lot about your business. Your posts, videos, images and 360 videos can help customers know what’s going on in your business even before they visit you. Add your Trading hours or if you’re a new business, tell them when you’ll be opening.
#5: Be discoverable
There are 2 types:
a – Map searches
Your GMB listing will come up in Google Map Searches. Customers wanting to visit you can be directed to your front door by asking Google for directions. You’ll also be able to see how many customers viewed your business listing on Maps.
b – Local 3-pack
The pack lists 3 businesses with their mapped locations in an information card before any organic listings. Appearing in the pack has an additional 700% chance of getting a click. There are a couple of ranking factors that can help your business appear in the pack, but it starts with claiming and ensuring accurate information is shared for your listing. Interestingly, Review signals make up 15% of Google local pack ranking factors.
#6: Get free Google Advertising
To gain additional customers a digital marketing strategy generally includes some form of Paid Search, Social Media Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO takes time to increase your ranking for specific keywords and Paid Search (Google Ads) will get you to the top of search results, but for your free GMB listing (which is the best ad you can create on Google) all it costs is a bit of time. Claim it and keep it up to date.
#7: You get powerful insights
See how your customers are behaving online. How they find your business (Listing on Search or Listing on Maps), what search terms they use, views on your photos/videos, and how many have clicked through to your website, called you, or even messaged you. All these insights will help you improve your online presence.
#8: Easy updates
With the Google My Business App (iOS | Android) you’ll be able to quickly update any content. From the App you can upload images or videos you’ve taken quickly. Google will track the interaction so that you gain valuable feedback on the content you’re sharing about your business.
#9: It’s free
Sorry, I should have started with that.
Your listing might have some information that Google has garnered from the internet already, but make sure you claim it and update it with the missing information.
In the next article, I’ll guide you through the process of how to claim or update your listing. If you need help in meantime, let me know.